Cafetalk Featured Tutor Interview

Keiko Y

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Life Advice Cooking

Keiko Y Tutor Interview

Q. Hello, Keiko! Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. First of all, could you briefly introduce yourself?

A. I am a person from the Kansai region of Japan who loves to meet and talk with people. I am 40 years old this year. I currently live with my husband and I don’t have any children yet. When I was single, I liked to travel alone and I am especially interested in Northern Europe.

Q. Please tell us about the city you grew up in and the area where you are currently working.

A. I was born in Yokohama and grew up in Nara Prefecture. After living in Osaka and Kyoto, I moved and have been living in Shiga Prefecture for the past three years.

This is a view of my neighborhood
Q. Can you tell us more about your background as a teacher? I would like to ask you about the work you did before you started giving cooking lessons, or how you became a teacher and what motivated you to continue your teaching career.

A. I was working in Kyoto teaching Japanese cuisine to foreign customers. Before that, I had worked in a kitchen, but the joy I felt was greater when I was able to teach and inspire people to cook together rather than just cook.

Q. You wrote on your profile that you were fascinated by a cooking method called "Kasaneni”(layered boiled stew) that you learned in a cooking class, but could you tell us specifically why you became a cooking instructor? Were there any influences from your relatives or friends?

A. That is because I happened to attend a cooking class that I really enjoyed, and I love cooking + cooking with other people. I also think that the cooking method called "Kasaneni" is very useful in our daily lives, and I strongly wish to share it with anyone who wants to know its advantages.

I haven't been able to go out very often, but recently, for the first time in a long time, I went for a drive to Hakodate, a mountain on the west side of Lake Biwa.
Q. For students who are interested, please tell us more about your lessons.

A. I will ask in advance if there is anything the students would like to make from the menu in the lesson, or any ingredients they would like to use, and then decide what to cook. Once we decide, I will contact them about the needed ingredients and tools and I will explain while actually cooking in the lesson.
Some students prefer to watch & learn how to cook the dishes without making them during the lesson, in which case I will explain how to cook while making them. Or, they can prepare the ingredients that they want to use, and I will guide them on how to use them in order to cook the desired dish using the “Kasaneni” method. If we happen to have any other commonly used ingredients, I will teach them on how to use & arrange those as well.

Q. Do you have any special recommendations for your own lessons? Or can you briefly introduce what kind of lessons you would recommend to your students?

A. You only need a pan or a pot to make a “Kasaneni” and it is simple to do. You don't need a lot of seasonings and we only use a small amount of oil. I would recommend my lessons to people: who want to cook vegetables, who want to cook in a short time, who are not accustomed to cooking and who want to learn something that they would benefit from and help them in their everyday cooking. Soups and stews are the best way to understand the benefits of “Kasaneni” and how to do it, so I recommend the "Easy and Yummy! Cooking Vegetable Soup/Stew lesson.

I always feel energized when I have a lesson with my students.
Q. I think many students are curious about the atmosphere/environment of the lessons. What are your lessons like? Also, please tell us about your teaching style.

A. I try to match with the student’s speed. Since this is a one-on-one class, I will check in check on them every time they have a question. I like to talk a lot, so I tend to chat with the students, but I try not to interrupt their concentration on cooking.

Q. What do you do when you're not teaching at Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?

A. This year, I am participating in the city's vegetable growing class. I have always grown vegetables in my garden, but I hope to be able to grow a large variety of vegetables from season to season.

I’m growing Chinese cabbage and broccoli in the vegetable growing class.
Q. Lastly, please leave a message to your regular students and to those who might take your lessons in the future!

A. I am always so grateful and encouraged by the students who take my lessons. It makes me very happy to see your delicious-looking dishes on the other side of the screen and to hear that you continue to make them. Thank you for your continuous support! If any of you are even slightly interested, please give it a try. I will definitely give you something that you and your family will benefit from. I will arrange the lessons based on each student’s needs.

I have a blueberry tree in my garden. This year we had a lot of berries. I made jam with them.
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Keiko Y


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